Cornell Daily Sun—When Muslim students and community members sat down for Friday prayer on Feb. 15 in Anabel Taylor Hall, they sought spiritual peace and a sense of solidarity with fellow Muslims.
What they encountered, however, was a sermon laden with homophobic slurs, according to attendees.
“Not all homosexuals are pedophiles, but all pedophiles are homosexuals,” the individual said, according to Ihsan Kabir ’14, president of the Committee for the Advancement of Muslim Culture.
The individual — who was previously a University employee — then shouted remarks targeting the LGBTQ community, criticizing President Barack Obama for “being too liberal” in his acceptance of homosexuality.
“Homosexuals are freaks and queers who want a pink earth,” the individual said, according to Kabir.
Not only did the individual target the LGBTQ community, but he also criticized how some Muslim women take off their hijab, or head scarf, after praying, according to Kabir.
“Women are dressing like men, but are naked at the same time,” the speaker said.
The sermon, or khutba — which is delivered every week by a different community member — was given that week by an individual some students say has delivered inflammatory speeches in the past.
Although Sana Siddiqui ’13, president of MECA, was not present at the sermon, she said the events of the prayer service left her and fellow students shocked and upset.
“My reaction upon hearing about the speech was the same as the reaction of the students who told me about it — just absolute horror,” she said. “I didn’t see this coming and was shocked and disgusted to hear that something to hateful had happened.”
Sanya Hashmi '14 said the sermon left people uneasy, and “no one quite knew what to do.”
“I ended up staying in order to hear all that he had to say, but the anger caused by this individual’s words ruined my prayer that day,” Hashmi said. “I must stress that it was the overall message of the speech that greatly offended me, as those ideas of hatred had no place at Friday prayer.”
In an open letter distributed on Feb. 20 that was signed by 46 students and community members as of Sunday, Adam Abboud ’14 also expressed distress at the incident.
“As a Muslim and a firm believer in the teachings of Islam and its premise of justice and social equity, I am absolutely disgusted by such behavior,” Abboud said. (Continue Reading.)
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Muslim Prayer Service 'Ruined' by Derogatory Sermon
So a Muslim leader condemned (a) homosexuality, and (b) women dressing immodestly, and the Muslim students were shocked to hear it. Interestingly, the Muslim students seem to think that his preaching was un-Islamic. The message just didn't mesh with the watered-down, whitewashed, Walt Disney version of Muhammad's teachings that they're all familiar with. I wonder how offended they would be if the students simply read the Qur'an one day.